Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Everywhere I go people are asking me about letters. I'm overhearing conversations about them in the kitchen, in the corridor, even in the toilets. My office has got obsessed by the letters A, B and C, and it's all my fault. I've been doing psychological experiments again.

The aim of the experiment was to see if the people in my office were easy to distract. Could just three pieces of paper be used to cause the entire office to cease to function? As it turns out, it was scarily easy.

Around 2 o'clock on Thursday I put up pieces of paper with the letters A, B and C around the office. There was no reason for doing this, and no logic to the letters. At least at first anyway. By 3.30, one of the other secretaries was getting decidedly obsessed about it, and began to bring the other teams to a halt as she started conversations, speculated, or just interrogated.

Not telling a soul, I occasionally provoked things by asking quite innocently if anyone knew anything about it. One colleague, who I regularly ask questions about important work things, looked me right in the eye and said authoritively, "It's for the cleaners...they're contractually obliged to clean certain parts of the office." I'll know not to trust him in future.

By Friday morning, an E and an F had appeared. Nothing to with me. And in desperation, this secretary had put up a post-it note, demanding that staff be told the reasons for these letters. Oddly, none was forthcoming. And as I walked up the corridor, sat at my desk or made a coffee, everywhere, people were earnestly asking one another about it, and really pretending they knew why the letters were there.

On Friday afternoon, I confessed to Northern Nurse what I'd done. She laughed for about five minutes.

It's amazing to think of the effect three little pieces of paper can have. And if you don't believe me, try it in your offices tomorrow.

As for me, I think I need a new job. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha that's hilarious, you are crazy. I am going to try that too. Tom.

1:45 pm

Anonymous alison said...

I'm THIS close to printing out giant numbers in typewriter-looking fonts.

4:39 pm

Blogger presenttense said...

He he, best practical joke ever- do it!

11:53 am


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